There are some players who you know are destined to be quiet, efficient, quality players. Not world-class, but not prima donnas, mediocre or utter tosh either.
David Jones is such a player – and from what I’ve seen in the last year, he will be one of the driving forces behind Derby’s bid to stay up next season.
I’ve always thought of David Jones as someone who could be a long-term midfield option for Manchester United – he has a better first touch, overall ball control and passing than Darren Fletcher and he can shoot too. In fact the only thing holding Jones back at Old Trafford last season was the fact that United had targeted Hargreaves for next season AND Fletcher was going to be around (and ahead in rank) for some time.
Jones wanted more playing time, so he left.
And now he’s back in the Premiership, and the next season is his chance to make a name for himself – whether Derby survive or not, he’s one of those young players who will be watched closely next season and if he does well, you can expect a bigger club to move for him by next summer.
There are times when players leave because they need to be playing day in and day out and not sit for long periods on the bench. In my view Jones made the sensible decision (although if I were SAF I’d have put Jones ahead of Fletch in the pecking order) and he now has the opportunity to have a good career.
There are many other players though, who don’t get that shot. They either stay at the club of their dreams for too long, or they get comfortable coming off the bench, being rotated and challenging for the top honours. I suppose it also differs with the stages in their career – Jones is 22 and needs games – a 18-year old could be eased in playing half of the games in a season, ditto for a 28-year old.
There are some players at every club though, who should move on but don’t.
So today’s question (if you’ve come this far down) is this:
Who do you support, and who do you think is wasting their career playing at that club?